Walkway extension

I've spent the last few days showing you some of the wonderful things in my garden: bees, light, birds. It's been quite a while since I've done a post about a real project -- although looking at and enjoying the garden is essential, there's work to do, right?

So today I get to cross one of the things off my project list for 2013 as I show you how I extended the walkway!


As you probably already know, the front walkway was the big project of late last summer. The one thing that I didn't love about the walkway was the fact that it didn't go all the way to the street -- I still had to walk across a strip of often-wet lawn to get to my truck.

I've had a plan for this all along. I didn't want to use the same expensive paving stones as I did in the rest of the walkway nor make the same amount of effort, as this area is technically not part of my yard and can be dug up by utility companies at any time.

Since I already had some great slabs of concrete which I cut from my driveway last year, I knew these were slated for the walkway extension. Since the weather has been remarkable mild (not hot) this summer, I had the energy yesterday to finally tackle this!

The first step was to lay out the concrete slabs of course. The second step was to remove the turf:

It always saddens me when I do this, because I realize just how poor my lawn grasses are -- this "grass" came out so easily!

Next, I had to dig out some soil, as the thick concrete would make this path a trip hazard if I didn't sink them a bit:

I found what seems to be a quarter during my digging:

Can't wait to clean it off to see what year it is!

The soil here is has a large amount of clay in it, but the stuff right next to the street is especially compacted and nasty:

It contains chunks of bitumen, which plants love! Just kidding, it's petroleum-based asphalt, and nasty stuff to have in your planting beds. Good thing I'm not doing any planting here.

So with the slabs roughed in to the right depth...

...I was ready to fill back in with soil to level and stabilize these:

Since this area was a bit lower than the surrounding lawn (another disadvantage to walking here after a rain) I wanted to raise the pathway up a bit, so the slabs are a bit higher than they would normally be. This means that I had to bring in some extra soil, but I got it all filled in.

A quick spray down with the hose, and things are looking good!

These are quite stable already, even though I expect the soil to settle a bit more over time -- especially after a few more rains. It may not match the rest of the walkway but it does match the sidewalks and driveway, so it works for me.

Now I just need to wait a couple of years until the bamboo spreads, surrounding this section of the walkway. I'm thinking about planting some "steppable" groundcover in the cracks in the meantime, if I can find something that will enjoy the heavy soil.

At least I don't have to worry about wet shoes anymore!


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Lisa  – (August 6, 2013 at 5:53 AM)  

Cool project! I love repurposing what would otherwise be junk. Your walkway extension looks great!

Alan  – (August 6, 2013 at 4:44 PM)  

That quarter I unearthed? It was minted in my birth year. That must mean something, right? (Does anybody know how to make a quarter that has turned brown look shiny and silver again?)

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